World pow­ers talk trade

Finweek English Edition - - IN BRIEF -

The US along with 11 other Pa­cific coun­tries met dur­ing the last week of July for what has been called the fi­nal round of ne­go­ti­a­tions on the Trans-Pa­cific Part­ner­ship. Should ne­go­ti­a­tions suc­ceed, a re­gional trade ac­cord would have been fi­nalised, group­ing to­gether 40% of global eco­nomic out­put, ac­cord­ing to the ny­

Other coun­tries in­volved in­clude Ja­pan, Canada, Aus­tralia and New Zealand. At the time of writ­ing, ne­go­tia­tors aimed to fi­nalise dis­cus­sions by 31 July. How­ever, com­men­ta­tors told ny­ that this was un­likely to be the case.

Ac­cord­ing to Reuters, is­sues still to be fi­nalised in­cluded a push from the US, New Zealand and Aus­tralia to con­vince Canada to open up its pro­tected dairy mar­ket. Mean­while Aus­tralia was hop­ing to gain in­creased ac­cess to the US sugar mar­ket.

The US, on the other hand, wants the other part­ners to agree to pro­tect in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty rights on next-gen­er­a­tion bi­o­log­i­cal drugs, Reuters re­ported. More than 1 000 tech­nol­ogy ex­perts, sci­en­tists and re­searchers have writ­ten a let­ter warn­ing about the dan­gers of au­ton­o­mous weapons, or so-called “killer robots”, re­ported. Sig­na­to­ries in­clude world-renowned sci­en­tist Stephen Hawk­ing, bil­lion­aire busi­ness­man Elon Musk and Ap­ple co-founder Steve Woz­niak.

The let­ter, which was pre­sented to an in­ter­na­tional con­fer­ence on ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence (AI) in Buenos Aires on 27 July, called for a ban on the use of AI to man­age weapons that would be “be­yond mean­ing­ful hu­man con­trol”, it said. The United Na­tions is cur­rently con­sid­er­ing the po­ten­tial for a ban on cer­tain types of au­ton­o­mous weapons.

“If any ma­jor mil­i­tary power pushes ahead with AI weapon de­vel­op­ment, a global arms race is vir­tu­ally in­evitable, and the end­point of this tech­no­log­i­cal tra­jec­tory is ob­vi­ous: au­ton­o­mous weapons will be­come the Kalash­nikovs of to­mor­row,” the let­ter from the Fu­ture of Life In­sti­tute warns.

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